Windows: Enable “Run as different user”

If the “Run as different user” option is missing from the menu when you right-click an icon in Microsoft Windows, you can use these steps to enable it.

Windows 10, 8 & 7

Hold down the “Shift” key on your keyboard, then right-click the icon for the program you would like to launch. This only works on application launch files (EXE) or shortcuts to application launch files.

Win7 Run as different user option

Windows 7, 8 and Vista users can permanently add the option to the menu by downloading and installing ShellRunas. ShellRunas is an official utility that is provided by Microsoft. Once ShellRunas is installed, the option will be available whenever you right-click an executable file.

Windows XP & 2000

  1. Log onto the workstation with admin rights.
  2. Right-click “My Computer” and click “Manage“.
  3. In “Computer Management“, click the plus sign next to “Services and Applications“, and then click “Services“.
  4. While in the details pane:
  5. In Windows 2000: Right-click the “RunAs” service, then click “Properties“.
  6. In Windows XP: Right-click “Secondary Logon” service, then click “Properties“.
  7. 5. In “Properties” set “Startup type” to “Automatic“, and click “Start“.
  8. 6. After the computer starts the service, click “OK” and close out of the window. The “Run as different user” service should now be an option when you right-click an icon.


Why don’t I see the “Run as different user” option when I select “Start” then choose the application in Windows 8?

The option will not work from the “Start” button in Windows 8. Launch the file from the file explorer or your Desktop.


  1. Tony Auby says

    I found a GPO setting that will remove or add back the Run As A Different User setting. It is Computer Configuration / Administrative Templates / Windows Components/Credential User Interface / Require trusted path for credential entry. If enabled, the RADU option disappears from the context menu. When enabled, it returns.

  2. Kevin Dondrea says

    Thank you but what I’m looking for is a way to add multiple Runas prompts. I added this one a while back but you can only add one. I normally set Notepad++ to run as admin for all profiles. This has worked up until Windows 8 or as I like to call it Windows 8OL.

    Is there a way to add multipl Run As Admin programs that work for all files you right click on?

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